Varicose and Spider Veins

Varicose and Spider Veins

Spider and varicose veins are prevalent ailments that affect up to 50% of adults.

Spider veins are groups of small blood vessels that develop near the surface of the skin. These veins usually appear on the face or legs, form a spider web pattern, and can be red, blue, or purple.

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are commonly found on the legs. They are usually blue and look like twisted vessels that are bulging above the surface of the skin.


Varicose and spider veins are caused by abnormally structured blood vessels within the veins. When things function properly, veins carry blood through one-way valves to the heart. If valves begin to malfunction, they will allow blood to backflow and weaken the blood vessel wall, leading to varicose and spider veins.


The most common symptom associated with spider and varicose veins are an undesirable cosmetic appearance. Potential problematic symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Aching
  • Throbbing
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Heaviness
  • Cramping
  • Tingling
  • Skin ulcers and discoloration

*Stock photographs and artwork are for illustrative purposes only. This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on this article as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other healthcare providers.